- Don't stick to the tried and true questions about their friendships with other celebrities.
- Ask personal questions - fair game when they're here to talk about the autobiography in which they nominally lay their life bare.
- Try and get behind the facade, to the real person.
Despite assuring me before the gig that nothing was off limits, Rupert quickly grew defensive, even narky during last night's conversation when my questions focused on him personally, and what I saw as ommissions from his autobiography (i.e. the curious lack of real emotion that suffuses its pages) rather than asking the stock-standard questions that would have allowed him to present another witty bon-mot or glittering anecdote with a flourish.
It was, in short, the most difficult interview I've ever done to date, and made Barry Humphries look like a kitten in comparison. Despite the occasional awkward silence or snapped retort from Everett, however, it was also a successful interview I think, in that he revealed things about himself that no other interview had drawn out, according to his publicist after the show.
I confess that I was a little shell-shocked afterwards, however - it certainly wasn't the delightfully entertaining experience I'd anticipated. Judging from the size of the audience and the resulting book sales, though, I'd say it was a successful event.